The Friday Five
Take Some Travel Apps for a Spin
Perhaps you’re an insatiable traveler, never quite at home unless you’re not at home. Perhaps work regularly tears you away from the comforts of home, and you’re always looking for ways to make it less of a pain. Or maybe for you, planning the journey is the best part of the trip—and there’s nothing you love so much as spending 11 months researching every last detail of your one big travel splurge: mapping the itinerary, boning up on local culture, and making endless lists of must-sees (“triple D” hangouts, check … ). Well, no matter your travel personality, it’s almost certain there’s a travel app to get you through. For this week’s Friday Five, we dish up a ton of reviews and “best of” lists in the world of travel apps—both iPhone and Android.
1. Be a better road warrior. If business travel is your thing, there’s probably no more obvious place to look for app recommendations than Forbes, right? Well, here are the “10 Best Travel Apps” from Tracey Greenstein, the magazine’s wanderlust expert. And if that doesn’t chill your app-etite, see her “10 Apps for Traveling Like a Local.” You’ll get everything from authentic dining at the locals’ favorite restaurants to world customs (don’t offend that new Argentinian client!) and a wi-fi finder.
2. Take the scenic route. Maybe a float down the Danube or heli-skiing in the Bugaboos is your idea of a dream vacation. If so, Frommer’s has some apps for that. And they’re free! Start with “8 Must-Have Free Travel Apps,” where you’ll find everything from the routine (Yelp) to the frugal (GasBuddy). Backwoods aficionados will covet the list of apps in Dennis Schaal’s “Best Smartphone Apps for Offline Use” at Frommer’s, too. We particularly like the concept of Ask a Nomad!
3. Be special. For some reason (we can only guess), a preponderance of apps described or reviewed online seem to be iPhone or iPad focused. But the two self-described travel technology geeks at Too Many Adapters now offer a monthly list of their favorite Android travel apps. The January and February lists are their first, and they promise more. By the way, this is a really cool site. Bet you end up spending more time on it than you planned!
4. Go for sheer quantity. CNN International’s travel site, CNN GO, delivers an amazing feast of apps—both iOS and Android. “50 Ultimate Travel Apps … So Far” includes locators, maps, translaters, packing help, flight arrangers and more. Once the pilot says it’s safe to crank up your electronic devices, this article will get you through the entire flight home. We promise.
5. Or quality. Be skeptical. Okay. Back to reality. Just because you can get apps that purport to forecast earthquakes and kill bedbugs doesn’t mean you should. The ever-trusty New York Times checked out some road trip apps in the real world for “Trying Travel Apps in Real Time.” As you might guess, of the four apps Seth Kugal road-tested some were sweet, and some were … well, you’ve got to read it.
Some people guard their best travels tips like the crown jewels. Others can’t wait to regale you with tales of their amazing feats of efficiency or style. Regardless, Attorney at Work readers need to know your personal favorite travel apps. Click on over to our Facebook page to share your tips. (While you’re there, don’t forget to like us.)